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Comics and Graphic Novels


The purpose of this guide is to help students, staff, and faculty find comics and associated material for study and leisure.

Comics and graphic novels make up a small part of USC libraries’ collection and they are spread across multiple libraries and e-book platforms. This guide is meant to consolidate the locations of these titles and highlight off campus resources to make this literature more accessible.


Thank you to the people who assisted in the creation of this LibGuide:

Professor Mia Du Plessis

Professor Mia Du Plessis is a USC professor in the Dornsife Department of Comparative Literature. She has taught classes on graphic novels and used comics as educational material in classes on literature in general. She provided general guidance of the formation of the LibGuide including information to help new students navigate USC resources and the inclusion of the section of global comics.

Professor Du Plessis can be contacted here:


Professor Henry Jenkins

Professor Henry Jenkins is a USC professor in the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. He has taught classes and wrote books on the subject of comic scholarship. In addition to providing me overall guidance he provided for the definition of comic book scholarship and most of the recommendations listed in comic scholarship sections.

Professor Jenkins can be contacted here:


Librarian Renee A. Rau

Librarian Renee A. Rau is a librarian at the Norris Medical Library and creator of the Graphic Medicine LibGuide in addition to several other research guides about medical research. Her LibGuide inspired the general layout of this Libguide and provided me helpful advice during the creation of this LibGuide.

Librarian Rau can be contacted here:



Listed below are useful terms for researching this medium. This is not an exhaustive list of all types of sequential art or related terms. It is just a list of terms that will net results in USC catalog search engine.


Comics: (kom’iks) n. a plural in form, used with a singular verb.

Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in a deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.

Source: Scott, McCloud. Understanding Comics the Invisible Art. HarperCollins, 1993, p.9

Graphic novel: n.

a story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book.


This term is often used to distinguish self-contained comics from continuous series and short story anthologies.

Comic Strip: n.

series of adjacent drawn images, usually arranged horizontally, that are designed to be read as a narrative or a chronological sequence. They are often found in newspapers, magazines, and online.


Manga- comics primarily made by and for Japanese people.

Here are specific genre terms for this medium:

Shounen- Manga directed at young boys

Shoujo- Manga directed at young girls

Seinien- Manga directed at adult men

Josei- Manga directed at adult women

For more information on terms specific to this medium click the links here:



Webcomic: n. ˈwebkɒmɪk

 a type of comic that has been published online.